Tuesday
Sep282010

Henri Bendel

On of my favorite displays I designed was for Henri Bendel on Fifth Avenue. Some of the mannequins were dressed as thieves in black cat suits and ski masks. They scaled the building exterior with money bags in hand. They reached through scrims in an attempt to steal the clothing off other mannequins and crashed through display cases with fistfuls of jewelry.  

Tuesday
Sep282010

Etta Jenks

I created this set for the Wilma Theater. The play tells the story of an actress who arrives in Hollywood with dreams of becoming a star, but ends up in porn.  The heroine eventually becomes an adult film producer.  It was one of my most difficult prop hunts. Among the director's requests: half of a red mustang convertible, an M-16 machine gun, and at least a dozen 1970s vintage porn posters (which I located in Pennsylvania's Lancaster County, of all places).  

Sunday
Sep122010

The Chelsea

I spent seven years at the Chelsea Hotel. My room became a lab for photo styling ideas. My favorite version, pictured here, had a decidedly French slant. I fantasized that it was the apartment of an Russian nobleman who escaped after the revolution. All that he could grab en route to New York was crammed into this tiny studio. 

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Saturday
Sep112010

A Particular Day 

 

It's impossible for me to look at these photos and not think of September 11th. I was display manager at Armani Casa and working on this photo shoot when the towers fell. Pictured here is Princess Alexandre of Greece, Mr. Armani's muse at the time. As the gravity of the situation became more apparent, she canceled the shoot and rushed to be with her children. 

I recall the sound of towers falling: one floor falling upon the next and the next and the next, pancaking it would come to be called. Shiny strands of steel falling to the ground like confetti, strangely beautiful and horrible. Hundreds standing on West Broadway staring at nothing.

Later that week I returned to the store and, like display artists throughout the city, hung a flag in the window.

 

Saturday
Jul242010

Baltzell, Philadelphia c.2004

 

The store before renovations

When my friend Virginia Baltzell asked me to help her design her new store in the Old City section of Philadelphia the first thing we did was strip away years of paint to reveal the original granite. It didn't matter that the restoration wasn't perfect, residual flecks of pain remained. The store, after all, was dealing in Tuscan antiquities and the pentimento suited our purpose. We stenciled her surname in crisp gold leaf atop the ruff hewn surface. The look was a perfect combination of Old City meets Old World.

 

The storefront after restoration. 

Exterior detail with window silkscreen

Interior detail: brocade silk with 1970s filigree screen

Thursday
Jul012010

Armani Casa 

As display manager of Armani Casa, I styled several photo shoots for the New York store.